Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Unisys-Sign-Rainbow: The Zoning Board of Adjustments Is Finally Cronyism-Free

So Unisys’ bid for a sign on Liberty Two got nixed by the Zoning Board of Adjustments.

Amidst all the differing opinions on this one, we have to agree with Mayor Nutter that the best part of this outcome is its implications on the bigger picture of zoning's future in Philadelphia:
Is this decision on a sign - a sign not too different from other corporate signs on other city skyscrapers - going to deter business development? Will it look like just another city-sponsored hassle?

That is not the mayor's take.

True, he does not like the decision, Nutter said, but "the system is functioning the way it is supposed to, and we are restoring integrity to the zoning process."

Before, he said, it would look as though decisions were made before the cases even went before the board.

Now, he said, even though he appointed all five members of the board, including Susan Jaffe, the chairwoman, it is obvious they made their decision without "interference from the mayor's office."
True that.

The Zoning Board voted unanimously to reject the sign.

The first high profile decision of their tenure, and all five Nutter-appointed members of ZBA voted no on something Nutter had supported both strongly and publicly.

That’s a good, uh, sign for the future of zoning decisions in the city NOT being “influenced” by people who should not be able to influence them.

Like developers, real estate attorneys, politicians and the like.

That's called progress.

Related:
Refused its sign, Unisys reconsiders move to city [ Philadelphia Inquirer ]

[ Image via Changing Skyline ]

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